|Cardinals overpay for Holliday|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on January 05, 2010
Matt Holliday, on The Doug Gottlieb Show on ESPN Radio on Tuesday, announced that he would be returning to the St. Louis Cardinals. He said the deal is for seven years and about $120 million, an AAV of a little more than $17.1 million a season.
The Cardinals greatly overpaid for Holliday. It's not that he isn't worth the money. It's that there was no one else in the bidding for Holliday.
The Yankees have long said they wouldn't spend big money on a free agent addition after their latest moves. The Giants weren't going to be major factors in the chase for Holliday. The Orioles bowed out early in the process, while the Red Sox weren't going to sign Holliday after bringing in John Lackey and Mike Cameron. The Mets didn't have the money or necessity after bringing in Jason Bay. The Cubs don't have the money to make a major move, and the same applied to the Dodgers.
The Angels were, realistically, the only team with the need and (perhaps) the financial situation to compete with the Cardinals. But they were more likely to chase the pitchers available on the free agent market, whether it was Lackey or Javier Vazquez, than a high profile outfielder.
The Cardinals were the only team seriously in the bidding for Holliday. And it was certain that he would return to the Cardinals. This was a situation perhaps perfectly reminiscent of Manny Ramirez from last season. It was rumored Ramirez was looking for a four-year deal worth $100 million. He ended up with two years and something around $50 million.
There just wasn't a huge market for Ramirez's services. Plus, it made too much sense for him to go back to the Dodgers.
The Cardinals didn't follow the model and save themselves some money. Yes, they needed Holliday. Badly. But Holliday needed the Cardinals. There weren't any other teams willing to shell out the big bucks.
The Cardinals could have used this leverage better in their negotiations. They could've offered a five-year deal worth $75 million, an AAV of $15 million. Where else was Holliday going to get a bigger deal? No where. There just wasn't a market for him. The Cardinals should've realized this.
Albert Pujols will be a free agent eventually, and the Cardinals are going to need every dollar bill they have to bring him back. Too bad they spent too many in overpaying Holliday.